While the front-end constitutes the visual part of an app, the back-end is responsible for the app’s functioning. And, a back-end/ server-side framework is a library containing tools and modules that create the architecture of a website or an application. Unlike front-end development that involves creating/implementing the client-side of an app like UI/UX design, the layout of the app, etc.; back-end development takes care of the server-side requirements – the creation of back-end functionalities, the implementation of database systems, and communication between various web services.
Exemplary back-end frameworks ease out the developers’ tasks by providing them with ready-to-use app development solutions. But, picking the right one is an uphill task due to the availability of multiple outstanding frameworks. So, I have listed down the noteworthy back-end frameworks to consider in 2022 and their lucrative offerings. A quick read will help companies offering web/mobile app development services to pick the most suitable backend framework for their upcoming project.
Noteworthy Back-end frameworks of 2022
A research report published in January 2022, by YouTube’s analysis and data visualization project “Statistics & Data” enlists the top backend frameworks based on their popularity amongst users. The frameworks have been ranked as per the number of repository stars earned from users.
As per the report, Laravel tops the list with 67,902 repository stars followed by Django with 61.614 stars, Flask with 57.681 stars, ExpressJS with 55.520 stars, Ruby on Rails with 49,840 stars, and Spring with 45,609 stars.
Now, let’s explore these frameworks in detail!
This open-source PHP web framework is employed for building Symphony-based web applications. It comes with a modular packaging system having a dedicated dependency manager. Laravel possesses an MIT license and has hosted its source code on GitHub.
1. MVC Architecture:
Laravel’s support for MVC architecture helps to:
- Effectively separate the presentation layer and the business logic layer
- Improve an app’s performance, security, and scalability
2. Effective Templates:
- Light-weight built-in templates that are used for creating content and crafting simple as well as complex sectioned layouts/designs
- Widgets having CSS well as JS code
3. Eloquent ORM:
On account of Laravel’s eloquent ORM (Object Relational Mapping) developers reap the benefits of:
- Effortless implementation of PHP Active Record
- Can help developers create database queries employing PHP syntax, without the need for creating an SQL code
4. Robust security:
Laravel promises high app security with the use of:
- Hashed and salted password techniques
- Bcrypt Hashing Algorithm for the generation of encrypted passwords
- Ready-to-use SQL statements for ruling out events of injection attacks
1. Simple Configuration:
Laravel comes with a simple configuration which eases out:
- implementing authentication
- controlling access resources
- authorizing logic management
2. Plain-sailing API:
- A plain-sailing API that functions seamlessly with the SwiftMailer library
- Drivers like Amazon SES, SparkPost, Mandrill, SMTP, and Mailgun
- Amazing PHP drivers for sending mails
- The usage of a local/cloud-based service to speed up the sending of application mails
- Support for sending notifications through multiple delivery channels
3. Cache Backend Support:
Laravel provides support for popular cache back-ends including Memcached and Redis. Moreover, a file cache driver is employed for executing the process of cached object storage within a file system. Furthermore, Laravel users are empowered to configure several cache configurations.
4. Effective Solutions for Error Handling and Testing:
This backend framework
- Has pre-configured exception and error management functions
- Has Integration with Monolog logging library
- Has support for several log handlers
- Has support for PHPUnit testing as well as a ready-made phpunit.xml file for apps
- Offers Helper methods for expressive app testing
- Simplified user behavior simulation for functions such as the filling of forms, application requests, link clicks, etc.
This high-end Python-based backend framework has been leveraged by biggies like Dropbox, YouTube, and Google Search.
- Reduces the amount of coding, leading to effortless backend web development and a faster development cycle
- Creates data-driven and scalable websites with rich features.
- Makes way for optimal pluggability, reduces coding time, and speeds up development
- Facilitates clean and speedy development
- Is one of the most viable options for projects with strict deadlines
- Has hundreds of libraries and a large community
- Manages the account and password without providing relevant information in cookie files from where it can be stolen, thereby tightening up app security
Flask is a Python-based backend framework used by brands like LinkedIn and Pinterest. It is a versatile framework that is suitable for developing small-scale as well as large-scale backend development projects. It is considered to be a micro web framework as it doesn’t need any tool or library for development. Besides, it does not have any components like form validation, database abstraction layer, etc. where the already present third-party libraries offer common functions. Nevertheless, this framework does support extensions for adding app features and other utilities, but these extensions have to be implemented in Flask itself. The extensions include certain framework-related tools, various open authentication technologies, form validation, object-relational mappers, etc.
Flask provides support for secure cookies, RESTful request dispatching, Jinja2 templating, and unit testing.
Also called Express, Express.js is a Node.js web app development backend framework. It is open-source and licensed under MIT. This standard Node.js server framework is employed for creating web apps and APIs.
- Presence of Middleware in this backend framework facilitates the streamlined organization of different functions
- Availability of template engines that help backend developers to build dynamic webpage content by creating HTML templates on the back-end
- Higher programming speed due to the requirement of a few lines of code
- A highly sophisticated routing mechanism that can manage dynamic URLs
- Convenient and effortless debugging mechanism
An easy learning curve for developers
- Utilization of full-stack JS features for front-end as well as back-end development that saves time and money
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is written in Ruby and licensed under MIT. This framework is fifteen years old and is employed for architecting eCommerce apps, stock exchange platforms, social networking websites, and informational portals. Several big brands like Airbnb, Hulu, GitHub, and Goodreads have reaped the benefits of RoR.
- Supports MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture to separate the business logic from other parts of the app
- Adheres to the principles of CoC (Configuration Convention)and DRY (No Repetition)
- Produces clear, crisp, and consistent codes
- High code reusability results in reduced time-to-market
- Its encoding process is easily understood and self-describing and hence, developers do not need additional documentation for starting a new project.
- Its predictable nature facilitates the addition of new features as per the needs of the project.
- It offers a top-quality development setup that is consistent and bug-free.
- The framework is not only powerful and scalable but also highly affordable.
- It lays focus on the conventional elements so that developers do not have to configure a custom developmental environment every time.
- It boasts of a huge and dynamic community of developers that collaborates diligently for detecting as well as fixing vulnerabilities and extending help to RoR users.
Spring is an open-source Java-based backend framework designed by Pivotal Software, Inc. It was crafted for simplifying the tasks on microservices and can be utilized for standalone Java apps as well as traditional WAR apps.
- The presence of a simple workflow, flexible XML configurations, database transactions, reliable batch processing, and a wide variety of development tools
- Helps developers to perform lazy initialization
- Allows customization of banners
- Availability of fluent builder API
- The presence of a “liveness state” – notifies the app’s internal state and processes recovery in cases of app failure
- No boilerplate configuration is needed
- SpringBoot starters for developers’ convenience
- Embedded support for Tomcat, Undertow, and Jetty
- Easier dependency management, easily customizable app properties, and effortlessly manageable profile-specific properties
- Default settings for integration testing and unit testing